Linked by weildish on Sun 18th Jan 2009 23:32 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Remember those lovely laser discs that education systems seemed to so lovingly embrace back in the 80s and 90s? The discs resembled what today's children would probably call a giant DVD, and these would be placed upon a massive tray to be sucked into a player twice the size of your VCR (VCR? What's that?). All of the memories associated with these players may bring tears to the surface, but you're going to have to face the truth sooner or later: Pioneer just ended production of its last three laser disc players, meaning that replacements for the said players, assuming you own one, will now be gone... forever. Stock up and buy a couple, and you'll be able to enjoy those massive discs for years to come instead of using them as frisbees. Honestly, though-- how did the laser disc player last this long?
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by MissinBeOS on Mon 19th Jan 2009 13:56 UTC
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I happen to own a laserdisc player, and approximately 100 laserdiscs ... when they were out, VHS tapes just couldn't compete in terms of sound & picture quality. Another nice thing was you were more likely to get "director's cut" or special editions in laserdisc format -- these would include all sorts of nice extras, including commentaries by the director, cast, etc. The whole package was usually put together with a lot of thought and attention to detail.

There were two kinds of laserdiscs CAV and CLV -- Constant Angular Velocity and Constant Linear Velocity. The two formats differed in how much information (or rather, playing time) there was per side. I forget which one was which, but one allowed you to "freeze frame" and step through frame-by-frame through scenes ... something that VHS could rarely do well without some juddering or tearing of the video.

Anyway ... with DVDs and their compact size, digital compression, etc., laserdiscs had no hope of competing -- not unlike how vinyl records went to a distant 2nd place compared to CDs (although, hardcore audiophiles are staging a comback with LPs ;) )

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